Unspoken: A Funeral Through Dance [Father’s Day Without Dad]

If you have a father figure in your life, especially if, for the most part, they are a good influence, there are two distinct versions of Father’s Day: before your father figure’s death and after. Before my dad died, I remember scrambling last minute to come up with a gift, sometimes annoyed that I had to give an entire summer Sunday to my dad, and often doing things or going places that didn’t interest me. But I was always grateful for the day. Then he died. And everything changed.

After my father’s death, Father’s Day was tough. That first one came in and hit like a ton of bricks had landed right on top of me. I stayed in, ate my feelings, and cried through some of his favorite movies. The second year wasn’t much better, and given how well I’d been doing, the sadness blindsided me, which was even worse than the year before. Each year got easier after that, but those first years were painful.

When I first saw Unspoken: A Funeral Through Dance, it reminded me of what that first year felt like and what it was like to really grieve my father on Father’s Day. This documentary is powerful, and while I think many will find it rewarding, it will speak specifically to those who have lost their father figure. It’s a club I hope you’re not a part of, but if you are, welcome. You are not alone.

In a documentary by William Armstrong, a son expresses his grief through dance after the death of his father

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